Etrian Odyssey And Trauma Center Director Now Working On Final Fantasy XIV

By Ishaan . September 1, 2012 . 11:45am

Etrian Odyssey and Trauma Center director, Kazuya Niinou, now works at Square Enix, where he is serving as the assistant director of Final Fantasy XIV, according to a report at Game Jouhou.


Prior to joining Square, Niinou worked at Imageepoch, where he helped create 7th Dragon and The Last Ranker. Prior to that, he was employed at Atlus, where he directed the original Etrian Odyssey and Trauma Center: Under the Knife.


Niinou shared the news of his employment at Square via Twitter. He reveals that he had surgery performed to have one of his organs removed last summer due to health issues, and found it difficult to continue working as a director, which is why he made the switch.


Niinou also says that, while he hopes to create his own games again one day, for now, he’s concentrating on Final Fantasy XIV’s world of Eorza.

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  • Belenger

    F O E             F O E               F O E

    Well gotta say, this game does sound appealing the more information we get, hopefully his unrelenting sense of difficulty on Etrian games gets translated to this, would be fun.

    • LynxAmali

       – hopefully his unrelenting sense of difficulty on Etrian games gets translated to this, would be fun.

      Don’t scare me like that.

  • riceisnice

    That is quite unexpected. I just hope the Etrian Odyssey series will be okay without him. I’m expecting at least Etrian Odyssey 6’s booty-licious battle music on the 3DS before the next gen.

    • Actually, from what I gathered a while back, Niinou left Atlus very soon after Sekaijū no Meikyu (EO1)’s Japanese release. The series is doing plenty well so far without him, if you ask me; it had a reliable foundation to start with, after all.

      And then he moved to Imageepoch and laid another ground for 7th Dragon – pretty much Etrian Odyssey with a different style, if a bit easier. I can’t wait to see what other series-material he’s gonna create next! Call me optimistic here, but in a bigger company like Square Enix, there’s a lot he could potentially accomplish with the right amount of support.

      • riceisnice

         Oh, well that’s a relief. Thanks for clearing that up… So who is in charge of Etrian Odyssey?

        • Quoting Wikipedia JP and GiantBomb:

          EO2’s director (probably also for EO3) is Komori Shigeo, scenario writer for Raidou Kuzunoha VS The Soulless Army (among other things).

          EO4’s director role shifts to Kanada Daisuke, who has many SMT and Trauma titles in his resumé!

          As for the music tracks, Koshiro Yuzo has been making the tunes for both EO and 7D so far, and I can’t imagine why he’d be replaced anytime soon.

      • PoweredByHentai

        I think I like 7th Dragon a lot more than Etrian Odyssey.  Not entirely sure why though.  I think the survive one in-game week on a certain floor in the first Etrian Odyssey just to clear a quest had something to do with it.

        • That’s precisely why I love 7D20: It’s not stubbornly old-school just for the sake of it. Not to mention the potential new fans it could bring with its leniency for future installments.

          • PoweredByHentai

            Yeah, 2020 was godly awesome.  Getting irritated by a boss?  Use your HACKER class to HAXORZ the game.  XD

          • Hell, Hackers are a necessity if you don’t have a healer and are not planning for a tough playthrough. (Samurai-Psychic-Hacker team? Pretty much the beginner/steamroller setup.)

      • Amine Hsu Nekuchan

         …I kinda wish it had been more clear in the article he only ever worked on EO1.  I don’t keep up with exactly what directors are working on stuff, so when they said Etrian Odyssey I thought they meant the series and was left with a very different impression.

        • The thing is, I myself only found out about it while I was researching for some background info for 7D20 a while back. I’m not sure why this info didn’t spread either.

  • “Prior to [joining Imageepoch], he was employed at Atlus, where he directed […] Trauma Center: Under the Knife.”

    “He reveals that he had surgery performed to have one of his organs removed last summer due to health issues”

    ﹁ _﹁ …

    [Puts up counter for incoming Trauma Center jokes.]

    • PoweredByHentai

      As long as it wasn’t a traumatic experience, it’s all good.


    • Lazulis

      Maybe they put the bandage on wrong, and that’s why he had health issues.

      • Wait, how could that issue have existed before he had the illness and went through with the surgery??


    • Tom_Phoenix

      I guess he had no choice but to go under the knife.


      • God-DAMN-it, Internet! Is there a reply picture for everything?!

  • Kitestwinblades

    Does this mean we might get Gunblades in FFXlV? :3
    Some regen gear would be awesome… if it hasn’t been implemented that is.

  • Hemppa

    I really appreciate Square Enix for taking this stubborn decision to fix FFXIV. A lot of other companies would have given up, gone F2P and let it die. FFXIV looks like it’s actually going to turn out well eventually, but it’s of course hard to prove that to people after the launch. At least they have money and strong franchise, something some other MMORPG companies haven’t had recently.

  • Andrew Austin

    Who better to take the reigns than the man with the healing touch?

  • He went from winner devs to a loser one

    • Bhunivelze

      They are working on making the game better, so they are bringing in new talent. What are you complaining about? 

      • Daniel Morandi

         Is not a game that most people are interested but aside from that, it might be the whole hate-SE idea that most people are mad.

      •  Sorry, I am new to this board, so I dont know the typical jokers and who is serious. I cant tell with your post.

    • M’iau M’iaut

      Welcome to the site, please be aware we ask our posters to tell us more than just throw away posts with no support. 

      Check out our rules prior to posting. 

      •  not to be rude but I see alot of throw away posts in this very thread

        • Perhaps. But at least they’re not bashing anybody/anything.

  • Daniel Morandi

    This may explain why this new version of FFXIV looks better.

    • Could be. But to know for sure, we’d need solid info on when he started working at Square Enix.

  • Lazulis


    7th Dragon? Aw, man, stop reminding me that game exists and that my jap knowledge is little to nothing right now…:CAnyway, FF14 keeps sounding better and better…

    • I don’t know Japanese well enough either – especially Kanji. But I finished 7th Dragon 2020 with the help of Japanese walkthrough wikis and Rikai-chan. Couldn’t understand enough dialogue to make out the story details, but once I deciphered which Skill does what, the gameplay was rather easy to handle.

      • Sorry to bother you, but can you describe the story of 2020?? Been curious abt the game story… and Miku ofc.

        • Julien_N

          You should check out the HG101 article about the series. (This link is for 2020)
          Apparently, the story is quite similar to the first game, with dragons and flowers, but in a modern setting, not unlike SMT.
          And Miku is an NPC in a side-quest.

          • Huh. I thought they only focus on old titles.

          • Julien_N

            They mostly do. But they can cover all kind of games as long as they have an old-school feeling, or because they are long running series, hence the articles on recent MegaTen titles or the 3DS Shinobi game.
            Sometimes, they also cover current-gen games that have gone a little bit under the radar, Nier or Deadly Premonition for instance.

        • Eh, Miku’s just a side character in a side mission; didn’t pay a lot of attention to the dialogue there, so… sorry. The only significant outcome is that by completing that quest, you get Diva Mode, which is a Miku-remix of the game’s entire OST.

          As for the story itself:

          It’s about an organization called “Murakumo” – named after the sword used to slay the Yamata-no-Orochi, for symbolism – which recruits people with superhuman abilities to fight… superhuman crises. In the prologue, it’s implied that they’ve been under government’s hire for months, to fight feral monster outbreaks – until the Dragons decided to drop in and wrecked Tokyo. (The dialogue states that Dragon invasions happen all over the world, but Tokyo is the only focus here.) Of course, JSDF being JSDF, they’re kinda ineffective against giant monsters, so Murakumo effectively becomes the government’s army-for-hire.

          The main “character” is Murakumo Squad 13, a group of 1~3 characters you can create from scratch; everybody in the entire game just refers to/addresses Squad 13 as a collective name, if you catch my drift. They have very little story dialogue beyond a few dialogue choices that don’t really affect the story flow. Much of the story is them completing missions and trying to take back Tokyo from the 7 Imperial Dragons.

          Of course, there are more details in the script than what I could make out; I mean, a novelist was hired to write it. (He wrote some Devil May Cry stories, among other things.) But my attention to the dialogue fluctuated throughout, so I’m not in a position to elaborate. Perhaps not until after replaying the game again in the future, with more attention on dialogue. Not gonna be easy though… It has no Furigana, and some complex Kanji are a real pain to identify for its font style.

          P.S: I also wrote an “unofficial” short Playtest on 7D20, if you’re interested.

      • Drakos, @Julien_N:disqus thk for the write up. Its been on my interest list and they don hv the complete WT on Utube…

        And I srsly though Miku side quest can be used to get an alternate ending where her song is used to banish/made the dragon self destruct those dragons away lk the Haru ending of DeSu lol.

        Yeah, its either Tokyo or NY if stuff were to happen in general media lol.

  • neo_firenze

     As a longtime FFXI player who felt MAJORLY burned by XIV (absolutely the biggest gaming disappointment of my life), I really want to be able to just drop XIV and ignore the reboot.  But man, they really are doing everything they can to salvage that game.  Yoshi-P is proving to be a director who seems to be doing and saying all the right things, and having help from people like Niinou seems like a fantastic decision.

    I still don’t know that they’ll ever be able to wash the stink of the original FFXIV off regardless of the quality of the revamped XIV, but they’re definitely giving it a legitimate shot.

  • Reno Evangelista


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